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 “On the Edge: Peripheries in Urban and Economic Networks”



Special Issue Editors:

Kirsten Martinus (University of Western Australia; kirsten.martinus@uwa.edu.au)

Thomas Sigler (University of Queensland; t.sigler@uq.edu.au)

Zachary Neal (Michigan State University; zpneal@msu.edu)


Aims and Objectives:

Network science has advanced considerably in the past 20 years towards a better understanding of how cities and regions are globally connected, as well as in how different socio-economic flows might be measured. Nonetheless, much of this work has focused on research questions that privilege geographies or actors who sit at the network core. The peripheries – in either a spatial (e.g. geographically remote cities) or topological (e.g. cities with few links in social, economic, political, environmental networks) – are rarely explored in their own right. This is despite growing scholarly recognition of their unique dynamics and data challenges. Instead, peripheries have been largely ignored in studies to date, either because they are removed from analysis as statistical outliers, or because they are not present in the data at all.


This Special Issue of Global Networks (Impact Factor: 3.018) will address this gap through a collection of papers focused on the distinctiveness of peripheral urban and economic networks. Some will conceptualize periphery in a topographical sense (i.e. at the edge of a region), while others will conceptualize it in a topological sense (i.e. at the edge of a network), but each will aim to highlight how being peripheral does not necessarily mean bring disadvantaged or deficient. The papers will present the case that it is impossible to understand a network by looking at its core alone, and will demonstrate that researchers must carefully consider the limitations of data that frequently focus on topographical and topological cores. We anticipate special issue papers will address topics including (but not limited to):

Rethinking network concepts such as centrality through the lens of the periphery

Reframing theoretical debates regarding the core and periphery

Examining when being peripheral is advantageous or disadvantageous

Reflecting on how available data encourages a focus on the core, and what kinds of data are needed to understand the periphery


Interested authors should submit an extended abstract or full paper to the special issue editors by email no later than 1 November 2019.


Following internal review, selected abstracts/papers will be invited for formal submission and will undergo the usual Global Networks peer review process. All papers accepted for publication in the special issue will appear online via EarlyView immediately following acceptance, in advance of the special issue’s publication.



Dr Kirsten Martinus

Senior Research Fellow

Centre for Regional Development, School of Agriculture and Environment  •  M000, Perth WA 6009 Australia

+61 8 6488 7674  •  +61 431 435 602  •  kirsten.martinus@uwa.edu.au

The University of Western Australia

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